Our Annie, formerly Little Black Stray Kitty Girl.
Waiting and watching: Delta Dawn, Charlie and Bravo.
Waiting and watching: Delta Dawn, Charlie and Bravo.
For those who have followed the story, or not: in early May a tiny little black stray kitty wandered past my window. A day or two later, she came by again, with a wee little one carried in her mouth. Within minutes, she came past again, carrying a second, then a third. All were safely tucked away into a wood pile behind the fence. For weeks we watched the progress of this little feral family. Of course, food and water were set out for the mommy. In time, she seemed to be quite comfortable coming to our front porch for breakfast and dinner. Once in awhile we got the briefest glimpse of a kitten. Then near the end of May, the little ones started to venture forth, to play, for bathing from mom, to nurse with her neath a big palm tree. In early June, she started bringing her babies to the porch. Now we set out soft food, kitten crunchies, kitten milk. In the early mornings and at dusk they would gather in the front yard and garden area to play. More and more bowls of food were supplied, along with a variety of toys, and a sleeping box (which they didn't seem to like). Within a short time, the little family of four were regulars. In spite of the poor real estate market, they'd "bought" a new home. As we watched and enjoyed, our attachment grew... fast and furious. Soon the personalities became evident and it was time to name them. No more LBSKG, no more wee ones, kits, babies. LBSKG was named ANNIE for one of the most charismatic cats we know, Annie Mosaic. Annie had two babies who were her clones... a fluffy chubby all black ball of fur: he was rambunctious and bold... seemingly fearless, and he was named BRAVO. Next came our little tiger stripe, playful, energetic, curious and he became CHARLIE (could be Charles or Charlotte). Lastly, was the sleek and smooth smallest one of the family, she seemed a bit shy and stayed close to Annie most times, and she was called DELTA DAWN (or maybe Delta Don?). This evolving story now had a future... how could we help them, what could we do, what would we do? In our community, every low cost spay/neuter clinic is on overload, not only do they have the usual number of kits coming in from the spring birthing season, but the numbers of abandoned animals has increased tenfold, and it is believed this is due to current economic conditions with many families no longer able to care for their pets. Every clinic turned us down for spay/neuter and other needed care. We began to search for private vet clinics -- many of those (a dozen or so) turned us down for a variety of reasons, and we also quickly learned the cost to properly care for our family of four would be substantially greater than through the volunteer and TNR clinics. Yet it would be irresponsible and also heart breaking to ignore their needs, to let them roam and breed and face environmental dangers. Two guardian angels came forth, offering financial assistance so the family could have all the care they might need. A blessing from beautiful and caring people. Last week we found a wonderful trapper, and arrangements were made with her, and with an accepting veterinary clinic for this week. Everyone was full of excitement and hope. On Friday, when our feral family came for breakfast, BRAVO was not with them. As the day and then the weekend rolled past, we did not see him again. But then, he had been named Bravo... so his adventuresome and brave personality may have led him elsewhere, we can only hope to a safe, secure and welcoming place. Last evening, Father's Day... with the noise and clatter of our family of nine gathered for dinner... lovely Lisa came, set the traps and within minutes, we had Annie. She was not happy, but she had food, water and the safety of our indoor back porch for the night. This morning at 6:30 am Annie left for the vet's office and we'll have her back later today. Meanwhile, traps were left out until dark in the hopes of capturing Charlie and Delta, but there was no success. At dawn, the traps were again set out with a trail of tuna leading to them. We are hoping and praying they'll find the courage (or perhaps hunger will drive them) to come out of the woods and we can capture and tend to their needs. We know they are frightened and missing their mom, Annie... but we're all doing our best, hour by hour.
We share our story... and we send our deepest thanks to our benefactors who have helped to make this happen, to our trapper Lisa, a caring woman who has done this for years to help the feral populations, and to the clinic that kindly agreed to take them all in.
What will be Chapter Two? It is yet to be written...
If you would like to see more photos and postings about
Annie, Bravo, Charlie and Delta Dawn,
click on Our Feral Family under Zoolatry Zoo in right sidebar.
1:00 PM Eastern Time -- DELTA has launched. She entered the trap (no doubt starving by now poor baby) and is already on her way (or his way) to the vet as I write. ANNIE came through with flying colors, healthy, no diseases, and she is in recovery already and due back home around 4:00 PM today. Now CHARLIE where are you? BRAVO... come back!